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Sat, Jun 02 2001

I had completed fixing all the bugs that jugg had discovered in BOB yesterday and for added measure fixed a few bugs that I found too :-) So since there wasn't anything further to do at the moment, I decided to write up the docs, set up the web page and release BOB! So there it is on the sidebar - take a look and let me know what you think.

I got another e-mail from Hugh Myers and he tells me that he finally got Blog to work! And from his trials and travails I learnt a lot - especially that my haphazard labelling of items could be really confusing to somebody who didn't understand what I meant :p I wonder how many other people tried Blog and gave up on it because they just couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work? The good news is that I'm going through Blog and revamping a lot of these things that could cause confusion. I also need to change some of the internals of Blog and so I don't know whether I would release Blog 1.2 now or do the internal changes as well so that I could release Blog 1.5 ... And I promised jugg that I would get back to Gossip after releasing BOB :p Oh well, even I don't know which one I will work on next :-)

Oh yeah one last thing, since I have access to the Nortiq mirror from home (as opposed to work) I have brought that site back in synch with the other sites. So if you need an alternate to download from, Nortiq is good :-)
posted at 09:02:10 AM  link  comment

Fri, Jun 01 2001

My friend John in France mentioned today that he'd be happy to beta test BOB for me and then jugg came online and he said that I should release BOB as a beta till I can get the documentation done. In fact, he got a copy of BOB from me then and there and ran it through it's paces and found a few things that needed to be fixed :-) Most of the stuff was minor and so I was able to fix them quickly during my lunch break and so I've uploaded a bare bones copy of BOB to both Tripod and Razor Systems. There are no docs and no instructions but it's very easy to use. Extract the ZIP file to a directory of your choice, run the BOB.EXE file, define a few sites and save them (unless of course you want to keep on typing the site details each time) and then do the file transfer. It's as simple as that ... Oh yeah, where's the file? It can be found here :p
posted at 01:46:12 PM  link  comment

The Gnomies still are a coming :-) Though it wasn't the blitz I'd thought it would be from descriptions of other sites that had simply gone under the barrage of users trying to get to the site, there were quite a lot of visits yesterday and it doesn't seem to be abating yet ... Of course, I guess not everybody who reads LockerGnome would be interested in a blogging tool and so I shouldn't have been worried about the site going under :-)

Anyway, the response from all the new users hasn't been ... ummm ... very impressive :p I have one new member for GroupHug and did receive some very detailed and in-depth comments from one user who'd tried out Blog. This particular user - Hugh Myers - pointed out some things that even I hadn't noticed and I've been using the proggy daily <vbg> Of course, it also made me realize that Blog isn't all that intuitive to use and I should either add context-sensitive help, include a help file or write better documentation :-) Oh well, if I had the time to do all of that ... but we shall see ...

On the coding front, I completed preliminary work on BOB! All the basic features now work but I still need to run it through some rigorous testing. I'm just wondering at the moment whether I should release it as a beta with no docs and no support page or wait till the weekend so that I can get all that stuff up and then do a proper distro. What do all of you think? :-) I've been getting some feedback on Gossip from Steve and jugg so I know there are at least two users of that proggy :p I'm actually beginning to wonder whether besides Scope, anybody really uses my apps besides me <vbg>
posted at 08:35:25 AM  link  comment

Thu, May 31 2001

Things were really hectic at work yesterday and I had no time for a post at all and today's not going to be any better but since I've done quite a bit of work on BOB and need to brag <g>, I thought I'd do a quick post :p Incidentally a friend (Steve) mentioned the fact that I mention my work here a lot but don't really say what I do <vbg> I work for a communications reseller in Michigan as an application developer and am part of a team that handles one of their apps. I basically work with Oracle, Java and Vantive (a rapid-application development environment for corporate database applications ...) mostly at work.

But to get back to what I was saying, I worked all through the evening yesterday on BOB and have the basic framework working fine. I have the GUI the way I want it, have the code for adding and removing files to and from the file list working and even have parts of the site list working too. To understand what the heck I'm talking about, here's a screenshot of the main BOB window:

The biggest piece of work that remains to be done is management of favorite sites and a dialog to add favorite sites when you click on the Add button. Then I need to do some stuff to display progress messages on the log window at the bottom of the screen and I should be good to go :-)

On another front, the influx of Gnomies has begun :-) I normally have about 60-80 hits during the course of the day on my site but today I've already have received about 30 hits and the day's just beginning :-) I might not be able to do any posts from Blog since I don't know how well Blog handles a heavy traffic site - might be my day to find out!
posted at 08:35:18 AM  link  comment

Tue, May 29 2001

As usual jugg was prompt to test out Gossip and he discovered a fatal flaw that I'd missed :-) I had opted to store the URL for each headline in the Data property of each treelist item which displayed the headline and it looks as if there was a problem with it. Only certain URLs would be launched while others did nothing at all! So I've fixed the problem by introducing a class derived from TCollection to hold the headline details for each headline. Now everything seems to work fine - at least for the three sites I have included with Gossip :-) Thanks again for your invaluable suggestions and testing jugg!! (Oh yeah, since I still can't update the Nortiq mirror from work, only the Tripod site and the Razor Systems mirror will have the updated build of Gossip - sorry ...)
posted at 03:35:49 PM  link  comment

Coming back to work after several days usually means more work than usual and today was no exception :-) Finally found some breathing space to do a couple of minor tweaks to the site. I hadn't intended originally to put up the LockerGnome link till the newsletter arrived with the mention of Blog since it seemed kind of presumptious to put it beforehand but then I realized I probably won't even have the link up that day since I don't get to my e-mail till much later in the day and it seemed kind of bad not to have a link back to the LockerGnome site ... yeah I know, I nitpick too much <vbg> Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I did add the LockerGnome button to the bottom of the Blog page today ...

I was talking to jugg today and he mentioned something that I'd been intending to do myself but kept on forgetting - namely the addition of some sort of a warning to users that downloading from Tripod was usually going to result at best in failure :p So I added a little premanent notice in the side-bar. Of course, this could be slightly confusing to somebody on a mirror site because the notice would be displayed on the mirror site too but I'm hoping that the users would know the difference :-)
posted at 12:51:24 PM  link  comment

Mon, May 28 2001

I was just thinking about all the updates I'd done to the site today when I realized that I hadn't done one very important thing that I'd been meaning to do some time now - feature all the great Powered by Blog buttons that sinesolis had done on the Blog page. So I went back and did that and added a bit of HTML code for each so that users could link to my site easily. That last was actually a suggestion by jugg - he always has some very creative feedback :-) Thanks guys for all your input, suggestions and help!
posted at 01:44:25 PM  link  comment

All in all a pretty interesting morning :-) First of all, I heard from Chris Pirillo over at LockerGnome that Blog is going to be featured in an upcoming issue of his software newsletter. I guess it might be mildly interesting to find out how this came to be and so I will tell you :p Chris had written a while back in his newsletter that their Bits & Bytes page was having some problems because they were using Blogger and the Blogger servers were on the fritz quite a bit at that particular point in time. So I wrote to him and told him about BlogCS and how I'd come to write it because I myself had been kind of dissatisfied with Blogger. He just said "Thanks" at that time and I'd kind of forgotten about it myself till I received his e-mail - so I guess he did give BlogCS (or maybe Blog) a glance after all <g>

I guess nothing gets you galvanized into action as the imminent prospect of being "gnomed" <vbg> I had been meaning to update some of the pages anyway since I was going to release Gossip today but now I decided to do a lot more extensive changes than I'd originally intended. So I updated a few of the other software pages, added a little link to the Scope page because it was featured on Shell Extension City and did some minor documentation changes as well since I've long intended to create one support mailing list for all my other software instead of referring their users to the Scope mailing list :p That mailing list by the way is called RookSoft and you can subscribe to it here.

Once I got all that done, I decided to get the Gossip release out of the way as well and so wrote the documentation up, packaged Gossip into a distro and updated the relevant links on my site for the new download. Then it was time to upload all the new files, graphics, distros and the updated stuff to my three sites. During that process, I came up with my next software project <vbg> I had originally written Blog because I was too lazy to upload multiple files to multiple FTP sites and now I realized that I still had to do that with all files except the main entry page. So I thought, why don't I write an FTP batch upload client which will take a list of FTP sites and a list of local files and then will automatically upload all the files to all the sites? Sounds like a great plan to me and I already have a name for the app - BOB (for Beast of Burden <vbg>) What do you think?
posted at 11:20:54 AM  link  comment

Sun, May 27 2001

I've been taking another sabbatical from coding and all the stuff that goes with it. I've been reading, watching movies and stuff like that but finally decided to get back to coding today since I had some time on my hand. I went through the Web in search of a simple solution to the problem that I'd had in distinguishing individual lines in a data stream and discovered suddenly that the solution had been in front of my eyes all the time! I had been looking for #13#10 (CR/LF) when I should actually have been looking for #$A and suddenly my code started working again :-)

I did have to do a little more tweaking to my code since the two test backends I was using (BetaNews and Desktopian.Org) each had slightly different formats. But once I got that problem sorted out, it worked great! Now all I need to do is write the documentation, set up a distro, create a page on my site and Gossip should be ready to go!
posted at 12:43:27 PM  link  comment

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Copyright (c) 2001 Fahim A. Farook